Abstract

Culture of the modern era creates new mythology which is highly dependent on the current reality. A very important part of this mythology is a “Greek myth”. Pretty often Greek identity is connected with Greece, its heroic and mythological past, national costume and some other superficial attributes. Actually, these attributes helped Nikolay Shcherbina, a poet from Taganrog, to become popular in Saint Petersburg in mid-19th century. However his contemporary from Mariupol Theoktist Hartahai who also spent several years in Saint Petersburg and was close to Taras Shevchenko preferred to support the idea of cultural and linguistic identity. For him it was more important to investigate the “nearest Crimean” history of Azov history than to try to connect them with far away Greece. As he collected Greek folk songs in Azov villages, he did not pay much attention to the subject and followed only linguistic criterion, i. e. the song should in some variety of Greek and could describe events even from the Russian history. Several decades later, first original Azov Greek poets (Demian Bgaditsa, Leonty Honagbey, etc.) consciously or unconsciously followed the ideas of Hartahai and adopted some features and patterns of the Russian literature to their own Greek literature. After the October revolution of 1917 it seemed that Azov Greek literature would use Demotic Greek instead of local dialect. However Demotic Greek was not supported by the majority of population who could not understand it. The best local poet of that period Georgy Kostoprav decided to follow the pattern of the first Azov Greek poets. His most popular poem “Leonty Honagbey” can be regarded as his literary manifest. On the one hand, he described the destiny of his literary “ancestor” whose ideas he definitely shared, on the other hand, this poem was deeply influenced by the contemporary Russian literature. Kostoprav and his supporters translated a lot of Russian classics into Azov Greek so that could have multiple model texts to refer to. These activities supported the development of national identity that could exist either without Greece or its heroic past. It seems that new Greek identity was based on (a) linguistic abilities and (b) local heritage that is generally acknowledged by the local community as a model Greek one while no connections with Greece are even looked for.
Translated title of the contribution«Greek myth» of Azov Greeks
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)274-291
JournalИндоевропейское языкознание и классическая филология
VolumeXXII
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventИндоевропейское языкознание и классическая филология (Чтения памяти И. М. Тронского) - Санкт-Петербург
Duration: 18 Jun 201820 Jun 2018
Conference number: XXII

Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics

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